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but the united states, israel and others are not celebrating. we will get the details ahead. the senate is working to change the law. the law that lets cops and the feds read our e-mails. they can just read them if the messages are more than six months old. a change coming that could affect all privacy. i am still on air today because my staff didn't win the record $588 million powerball jackpot. the deal was, if they won, obviously they were thought coming to work and the stage manager was going to anchor and i was going to hang out on their boat. but, no, there are two winners, obviously we hate them. we will talk about them unless breaking news changes everything. this is "studio b." >> first from fox at 3:00, the united nations general assembly hold a historic vote any moment on recognizing an independent palestinian state. it is expected to pass overwhelmingly despite opposition from the united states and israel which are in a vast majority of the u.n.'s 193 members. this measure would "reaffirm the right of the palestinian people to self determination and to independence in their
on gaza. rackets crash into israel. now global fears of a full-scale ground war. >>> terror at a texas parade. an 80-car train slams into a parade float full of wounded vets. now everyone wants to know why. >>> and david petraeus on the hot seat. the now ex-cia chief heads to capitol hill this morning with members of congress demanding answers. >>> good morning. welcome to "early start" everyone. happy friday. glad to see you. i'm john berman. >> nice to see you. i'm zonaida sambolin. >>> the i realsraelis pounding targets while palestinian militants continue to launch rockets into israel. israel calls up reservists in preparation for war. >> ben joins us by phone this morning. egypt's prime minister paid a visit to gaza. somehow that going so far? >> well, it was originally planned it would be a three-hour cease fire while the egyptian prime minister was making this visit to gaza. according to our sources, it doesn't appear either side significantly reduced their level of military activity in gaza. certainly before the sun came up there was an intense air attack on gaza itself. it may
-- perhaps israel -- would face. they've already tested their missiles to show what a retaliatory strike on tel aviv would be. these drills also have the intended consequence of raising the price a little bit. the iranians are saying, okay, it's going to cost more if you bomb us, therefore, if we come to the negotiating table, we want more. and this all has to be looked at in the prism, if you will, of u.s./israel relations after the elections here. the prime minister here in israel, prime minister netanyahu, and president obama have a very icy relationship. the prime minister all but endorsed governor romney in the past election, and there's been a lot of fear here that now a second term president obama will take a much tougher line against israel when it comes to iran, when it comes to the palestinians. there has been some vocal, hostile, very negative reaction here by israeli politicians to president obama's re-election, and there's a lot of anger at the prime minister for making israel and the united states' support of israel a partisan issue, a political issue during the presidentia
pretty well in terms of -- from the western perspective in working with israel. he has a lot to prove to the outside world and his own people. >> reporter: now, the obama administration is calling for calm in egypt pushing the leadership there to work together to resolve their differences peacefully and through "democratic dialogue." joe. >> everybody i think is a little stunned about the timing of all of this, dan. is the white house saying anything about whether there's some type of linkage between the timing of the gaza agreement and this move by mohamed morsi? >> reporter: they're not at all. in fact, the white house has been really pushing a lot of the comment on this through the state department which of course as i mentioned a short time ago did release that statement. i think it's really too early to tell. they are watching carefully what the developments are there and will have more comment i suspect as they get more information. >> thanks so much for that, dan lothian at the white house. we're just over two days into the israeli/hamas cease-fire along the gaza border and alr
prime minister salam fayyad. he's in washington to attend the 2012 saban forum on u.s./israel relations. it's my understanding you were against this at first. is that true? and if so, how do you feel now? >> no. i never was against it. as a matter of fact, i was very much a part of the thinking -- >> did you think it was time now? or some time down in the future? >> given the frustrations that we palestinians have had with the political process, it has not been productive. there's no question that we needed to pursue any and all available options to us. and the international law -- with the national diplomacy. and this was one of them. the question for me all along was how best to do it. provide us with some leverage going forward because what we really want end of day is genuine state where our people can live as free people with dignity. >> at the end we were just talking in the break, does this end up helping or hurting your relationship with the united states, your pursuit of something even more tangible? >> i think it depends a lot on what is done to deal with it. and whether or no
a hero. i would like your opinion about what is going on right now with israel and palestine. to gaza. i think they are acting upon hamas in order to put their blame -- against iran and see what your opinions would be. guest: that has been a mess for a long time and i believe we should be noninterventionists. we should not pick sides. i think it would be best for israel and best for that whole region, so i don't believe in getting involved. it is a real mess. it's been created by too much and too many outsiders interfering. but this gaza thing, i mean, attacking and bombing gaza, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. what threat are the palestinians? to israel or anybody else? they are living in total poverty. they have an employment rate probably about 50%. sure, there are going to be militants. you have to understand why they're militants. you know, what is the reasons? they have been held more or less in bondage for decades now. it's a real mess. i think we should not be involved. i think the people there should solve the problems and eventually israel won't be able to depend upon t
east. elections are coming up in israel, in jordan, in egypt, iran and elsewhere. we're seeing in front of our eyes more violent change happening in syria. the reverberations of which are being felt on everyone of that country's borders. elsewhere from beirut to bahrain domestic politics is at a low boil ready to burst out in a way that can affect our interests in very fundamental ways. there are two problems at the far ends of the threat spectrum. the iran nuclear challenge on the one hand and the spread of al qaeda and affiliated terrorism on the other that will continue to dominate and lest we forget within a year of taking office both presidents obama and bush, his predecessor, were faced with previously unforeseen events that fundamentally challenged their middle east policies. 9/11 for president bush and the arab spring for president obama. so there's a lot on the agenda. today we're going to take a early look at what will be and what should be the foreign policy of a second obama administration in the middle east. now we at the washington institute, for us this is just the beginn
to witness the vote. the united states, israel and other western countries oppose this move by the palestines. palestinians. more than a dozen european countries are supporting this rez lug. the uk says it may vote yes pending a couple of conditions. the u.s. has supported a two-state resolution for palestinians and israelis. why do american officials oppose u.n. recognition? >> for the most part it won't give the palestinians what they want, which is an actual state. this vote is largely symbolic. it would have no effect on the palestinian sovereignty or borders or any of the things they're looking for. israel is vehemently opposed to this vote. it said it threatened to cut off aid to the palestinians, impose new checkpoints if they do so. what the u.s. is fearing here is that if this vote goes ahead, and we see that it's pretty much a guarantee that it will -- that the palestinians will be upgraded at the u.n., basically it's not going to lead to anything good on the ground. what the u.s. is afraid of is that it will lead to more violence if the palestinians don't see their state actually r
and israel opposed the resolution. palestine, as an individual state, still does not exist. we are joined from washington. good morning. >> morning. >> this vote did not grant palestinians statehood. it was important to the u.s. and israel, they are both withdrawaling aid to the west bank. 138 countries in total backed the palestinians in this. what does this status grant them? >> well, the vote is really a global endorsement of the palestinian position, a palestinian state. it certainly bolsters abbas and the palestinian authority who were weakened. it gives the palestinians hope and a bit of dignity after so many decades of occupation that a state is possible. let's listen to president abass after the vote yesterday. >> translator: we did not come here seeking to delegitimize a state established years ago. that is israel. rather, we came to aform the legitimacy of a state that must now achieve independence, that is palestine. >> as you said, christine, it doesn't give the palestinians anything tangible. the u.s. feels this is a false sense of accomplishment. on the ground, things are go
by the american people. they will go forward. >> what about israel in this scenario? what are they going to do as the supreme leaders meet in tehran? >> israel has confidence that iran is not fair minded and is a predator state. and, therefore, no matter how long this is dragged out, iran will get more and more concessions before it becomes impossible. for example, one of the concessions i'm told is israel wants the united states to agree that a third party killed iranian nuclear scientist. they're looking for us to endorse their law gambit against israel. they want us on their side against israel. >> boy, i think this is pretty farfetched -- >> it is. it is farfetched, larry. >> john bachelor, thank you very much, my friend. hope to see you soon on the radio. >>> so, folks, the stock market slump continues on wall street. since president obama was re-elected the dow's lost about 450 points. my next guest says put fiscal cliff fears to bed because a deal will be reached. here now is ken hebner of capital growth management. ken, as always, it's great to see you. all right. i'll put the fiscal c
. new york congressman steve israel as well as my man that i like to talk about in the future of the republican party, mike murphy. righto my first reads. it took president obama exactly 12 minutes longer to win his second term than a first one. we called the 2000 race at 11:00. this time at 11:12 p.m. we're not even 12 hours removed from that moment yet and it's clear that the second obama term will face enormous challenges in trying to resolve the country's if iscal future and create a governing coalition to make that happen in washington but, first, let's look at how the president made his victory happen. the president put together a decisive electoral college victory winning at least 303 votes to romney's 206 and at this hour in florida where the president leads by it looks like at this moment 50,000 votes, remains too close to call where we think the vote remains should favor the president. those folks in miami-dade are going to start counting votes when they get to work this morning. but those margin of victory was smaller than in 2008. in the end demographics and a stro
a state established years ago, and that is israel. rather, we came to affirm the legitimacy of a state that must now achieve its independence, and this is palestine. >> sreenivasan: palestinians said the vote would strengthen their hand in future peace talks with israel. but the israeli ambassador to the u.n., ron prosor, warned that the palestinians are turning their backs on peace. >> for as long as president abbas prefers symbolism over reality, as long as he prefers to travel to new york for u.n. resolutions rather than travel to jerusalem for genuine dialogue, any hope of peace will be out of reach. >> sreenivasan: meanwhile, a bipartisan group of u.s. senators said today they will push to cut off u.s. aid, if the palestinians use their new status to bring israel before the international criminal court. in iraq, a wave of attacks today killed at least 43 people. most of the victims were in the city of hillah, south of baghdad. back-to-back explosions targeted shi-ite pilgrims and emergency responders. the force of the blasts left twisted wreckage of cars outside shops in a busy co
israel. the general assembly of the united nations is almost certain to grant the palestinians a status upgrade. this is a step that palestinians hope will eventually lead to recognition as an independent state. take a look at the crowd that's gathered there. this is yasser arafat square in ramallah. ♪ their president mahmoud abbas live. the vote is scheduled to be happening two and a half hours from now. this is something that israel and the u.s. have spent months lobbying against. i want to bring in jim clancy to put this in perspective here from cnn international. jim, first of all, what does this mean in very plain terms, for the palestinians if they get this upgraded status at the u.n., the significance? >> somebody calls them a state. they are allowed to join international organizations. they're even allowed to join the international criminal court. now, this is what worries israel and the united states because in doing so, they could file complaints with the court about the occupation, how palestinians are being treated. right now they have no such recourse. this is what could
? condemnation from israel and the u.s., as the u.n. general assembly now votes to recognize a palestinian state. is this the right tack for peace? >> fortune and glory. one of the winners of the record powerball jackpot is out. and the other may not be a mystery any more. >> hmm. plus battered but not broken. an exclusive look here at lady liberty after superstorm sandy. >> we have a packed show ahead. steny hoyer, harvard economics pro-presser ken rogoff. russell simmons, former presidential candidate jon huntsman and good samaritan larry deprimo. >> gave the boots to the homeless man. we're going to get the whole back story there. it is friday, november 30th. tgif. to you and you as well. "starting point" begins right now. >>> your elected officials trading insults, playing the blame game here as the clock is winding down on the fiscal cliff. keep in mind time is a-wasting. in 32 days now tax rates soar, spending gets slashed. oh, and don't forget, congress, yeah, they get to take a break for the holidays in 14 days. a recipe for recession. the president is pitching a plan that calls for $1.6
and is expected to pass. >> keep in mind the united states and israel are both opposed to the resolution. let's go to cnn foreign affairs reporter live in washington. good morning. >> good morning, brooke. israel very opposed to the move. the u.s. knows this move went give the palestinians what they want -- a state. this is largely symbolic. will have no effect on sovereignty or borders. hillary clinton met with president abbas and tried to assure him not to go ahead with the move. let's listen to what she told reporters yesterday. sfm know matter what happens it will not change what i support. the only way to get a lasting solution is to commence direct negotiations and we need an environment conducive to that. we have urged both parties to refrain from actions that might in any way make a return to meaningful negotiations -- >> now, brooke, president abbas promised to return to negotiations after the vote. but with israel so opposed to the move it doesn't seem likely. prime minister benjamin netanyahu slammed the resolution calling it one-sided saying it doesn't take into account israel's securi
in the u.n. human rights council which has been very anti-israel. and her defense is, look, we do it because it would have been even worse if america hadn't been there to defend israel as this israel bashing went on. >> part of the problem with that statement is that it's indefensible. she made that statement two weeks after the human rights council finished a session in which it passed more israel-bashing resolutions than it had at any session before. so if her presence is doing any good -- or our presence is doing any good, it's not perceptible. megyn: what about syria? we've lost our focus on it in the recent weeks and months with the election, but they are involved in a civil war now, and it was said that bashar assad was about to go. well, he hasn't gone, and, you know, thousands upon thousands of children are dying in syria, many being tortured in front of tear families, and the -- in front of their families, and the unite isn't doing that much. we tried to do something at the united nations, it failed. >> it failed in large measure because the chinese and russians -- with w
.n. and the nonaligned movement when it comes to israel and the middle east that said nothing when hamas fired over 500 or 600 missiles at israeli civilians, each missile being a war crime. and when israel finallien hit back by attacking a leader of the militants and started attacking launch sites, suddenly there's a u.n. security council meeting and the nonaligned movement condemns israel. we also learned that despite the ravings of governor romney about obama throwing israel under the bus and the ravings of the republican jewish coalition and other elements of the jewish community, when push comes to shove, the obama administration stood by israel. >> we'll discuss gaza tomorrow. there's been asymmetry in the moral intent has been to go after civilians stated aim of the idf is to avoid civilians. in the actual death toll, we're seeing more civilian lives in gaza dead than israelis. i want to make sure people are aware of that. we'll talk about this much more tomorrow, joy. >> we now know that the beltway sort of means that there was a lack of african-american enthusiasm to re-elect the president was
inserted himself into the peace agreement between israel and hamas. >> he negotiated a cease-fire between israel and hamas, the words were not out of president obama's mouth praising him for this, offering to help him with half a billion dollars of aid, convincing the imf to give him almost $5 billion of aid and what did morsi do? e seized all the controls of power. already got the parliament and the presidency, put his guys in the military and taking over. connell: in the old days they used to say hosni mubarak was not the best guy in the world but the u.s. can work with him. what about now? >> that is an important difference to make because he was a dictator, hosni mubarak was that he was our guy, pro-american and kept peace with israel. the new guy is a dictator too but not necessarily our guy. not necessarily pro-american. he is part of the muslim brotherhood which is a movement going through the entire middle east now, hijacking the arabs spring and they are anti-american, anti israeli and islamist. dagen: why not pull our funding from the country? >> what we should do is say to them
. cnn's sarah reports from northern israel. >> reporter: every morning 80-year-old roth gets his medicine, stuffs it in his pipe and smokes it. he is using medical marijuana, also known as cannabis. how does the cannabis make you feel? >> good. >> reporter: he is a holocaust survivor and author and painter whose hands started shaking so much he couldn't work anymore. >> translator: my heads r hands are now steady. i can hold things like tea. >> reporter: the cannabis also makes him high because of the psycho active effects of the substance thc in the plant. for those who use medical marijuana the high they experience is the price for the reported help it gives to cancer patients on chemotherapy or others suffering from everything from parkinson's disease to pain. rifka thought marijuana just got people high until she was prescribed a new strain of the plant and tried it. two spoon fulls a day with her other medications. she says the pain that left her wheelchair bound began to be relieved without leaving her lethargic. outstanding. i was turned into a different person. i was resu
medical marijuana has been used in israel now for a decade? scientists in jerusalem have developed a form that now relieves pain and suffering without actually getting the person high? sarah sidner has the story. >> reporter: every morning 80-year-old mosha gets his medicine, stuffs it in his pipe and smokes it. he is using medical marijuana. also known as cannabis. >> how did the cannabis make you feel? >> oh, good. >> he is a holocaust survivor and author and painter whose hands started shaking so much he couldn't work anymore. >> translator: my hands are now steady. i can hold things like tea, he says. >> reporter: the cannabis also makes him high because of the psycho-active effects of the substance thc in the plant. for those that use medical marijuana, the high they experience is the price for the reported help it gives to cancer patients on chemotherapy or others suffering from everything from parkinson's disease to pain. rifka thought marijuana just got people high until she was prescribed a new strain of the plant and tried it. two spoonfuls a day with her other medications. shes
.n. groups and the international criminal court. the united states and israel had strongly opposed the move, saying it could complicate peace efforts. but the vote passed by a wide margin. >>> and, still ahead here on "world news," our year-long investigation, the leader of a polygamist sect behind bars. so, how is he still controlling thousands of followers? we use this board to compare car insurance rates side by side so you get the same coverage, often for less. that's one smart board. what else does it do, reverse gravity? [ laughs ] [ laughs ] [ whooshing ] strongly opposed the move, tell me about it. why am i not going anywhere? you don't believe hard enough. a smarter way to shop around. now that's progressive. call or click today. [ grunting ] who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save o
biased israel view. i can tell you what is going on. i love president assad. i stand with them. there has always been peace there. the women wear jeans, they'd drive, they vote. it is more of a democracy and a lot of ways and here. host: what do you think policy should be regarding syria? 5000 people killed in the uprising. caller: those rebels are not syrian. they were planted there. it is really funny. when obama put troops into israel, i think he did all of this for reelection. i am relieved mitt romney did not get elected even though i did not vote for either. i think obama might do the right thing and cut ties with israel. host: we will go to a report actually on syrian president assad. this in "usa today." he said "i am not a puppet." we have a few minutes left on the first segment of "the washington journal." we will go to pete in rhode island on the democrat line. caller: good morning. i would like to see him focus on the economy. host: specifically what part? caller: let's go with the fiscal cliff coming up. my thoughts were my belief is, and i hope somebody calls and corrects me
to supporters on capitol hill. she was joined by representative steve israel and congressman steny hoyer of maryland. >> it is going to be a good evening. our president is going to be our president. steve israel is assuring me we will pick up states in the house and yes, we think we're going to take back the house. i am so pleased to be year. -- to be here. we are fighting for the priorities our country knows are important. for the values that this country knows is critically important. for investing in education, in growing our jobs in america, in investing in protecting our environment and investing in the health care of our people. americans believe lyonesse priorities. i want to congratulate my friend steve israel for the extraordinary job he has done. i have gone through this country, i have been in almost 90 districts, 89 districts in this country. campaigning with extraordinary candidates. some incumbents khomeni challengers. they are extraordinary people who will do an excellent, outstanding job as a members of the congress. steve israel has set an objective. he has worked hard a
those were some of the concerns he had all along, israel's relationship with the united states and the president included in that. >> right, right. it's amazing if you look at the tide of history here, in 2004 it was liberal billionaires who spent a lot of money to unseat george w. bush. they lost. in 2012 it was conservative billionaires that couldn't stand president obama, and they lost. i'm not sure what the kind of broader reason for that is, if there's any inclusion, but it shows you that if you're a candidate controlling your own money and message, that's really the best sort of practice you can imagine. >> i believe when you look at the total sum of the money put in in the races, he won about 42% in good bets, 58% in bad bets. so i mean it depends on if you have the cash whether those are good and bad odds. moving ahead, we talked about super-pac money and the fear of what it would do. the president is not happy with the supreme court ruling on the money, the unnamed donors. the next cycle, what do you foresee? >> i think super-pacs will play a huge role in presidential
made history. [applause] host: this tweet from benjamin netanyahu, the prime minister of israel, who congratulates u.s. president barack obama on his election victory. fort lauderdale, florida. independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. host: did you vote yesterday or early in florida? caller: a voted early. actually, i went out and did some last minute can the scene for the present, and i will tell you -- can this -- canvassing for the president. i always try to keep myself informed, and one of the things i realized about mitt romney is although he was a good businessman, the businesses that he had or businesses that he consolidated and got rid of jobs. so, we also had another businessman that was a president, hoover, and the country went into a depression. we have a businessman, george bush, that was the president, and our country almost went into a depression after that. people have to realize that when our elected officials are irresponsible by saying we have to be like a household, the government is not run like our household. that is totally ridiculous. it is absol
, but come without the support of israel or the united states. >> as for the rights of the jewish people in this land, i have a simple message for those gathered in the general assembly today. no decision by the u.n. can break the 4,000-year-old bond between the people of israel and the land of israel. >> the palestinians have had a permanent observer status at the u.n. since 1974, when the palestinian liberation organization oh was recognized as an observer, a position which is not defined in the u.n.'s charter. >>> and for the first time since the election, president barack obama and governor mitt romney will meet. they're going to have lunch at the white house. before that happens, romney will meet with his former running mate, congressman paul ryan. >>> former baltimore orioles doug de census is indicted on insider trading. money laundering for a stock sale in 2008. the feds claim decinces bought $160,000 of stock in a medical device company and sold it for $1.3 billion after a friend alerted him to a takeover bid. >>> let's talk -- real sports now. they say you can't lose your job t
this had measure, a sentiment echoed by israel. the vote was 138 in favor and nine opposed. u.s. ambassador to the u.n. susan rice had very different reactions to the decision. >> translator: we came to a firm legitimacy of the state that must now achieve its independence and that is palestine. >> we have always been clear that only through direct negotiations between the parties can the palestinians and israelis achieve the peace that both deserve. >> palestinians view the u.n. vote as a big step toward eventual statehood. hours before the u.n. general assembly vote, u.n. put out a statement on its official twitter account. we all do that but theirs had a glaring typo. this says, quote, on day of solidarity with palestinians, ban ki moon stresses urgency of reaching a one-state solution. oops. it's actually a two-state solution. the mistake was acknowledged and corrected about half an hour later. >>> state of same-sex marriage before supreme court. actor morgan freedom. >> now across our country, we are standing together for the right of gay and lesbian americans to marry the person they l
one nation that we should be nation-building with, and that's israel. because israel -- israel is -- that's god's chosen land. the jews are god's chosen people. host: ok, connie, let's give fred barnes a chance to comment. guest: well, i mean that was an issue between romney who was much more pro israel though publicly in particular. we'll see how that turns out. i personally don't begrudge him a vacation after the campaign, like to take one myself. but there was another part -- oh, yeah. what she said in the beginning about the republican party. is it really in deep trouble? i don't think so. obviously hispanics are a problem. younger senators and governors, they have 30 governors who are extremely important, 30 out of 50. like bob mcdonald in virginia and bobby jindal and scott walker in wisconsin and so on. republicans actually -- romney actually won i believe the middle class. if you have the middle class as people who make between $50,000 a year and $100,000 a year, romney won that group narrowly. the middle class is up for grabs but romney did well enough there but just n
that israel. i think that is true. studs terkel said americans get up and go to work every day is much for daily meaning as for daily bread. he could have easily added daily identity. so it's no surprise that many people are looking for a new amalgam around work in the stage of life. they need income to be sure but they are also looking for daily identity for work that mean something beyond themselves. we have been calling that an encore career, work in the second half of life that is an intersection of passion, and a paycheck. already 9 million americans are engaged in careers in the second half of life. 31 million more give top priority to make in that transition that are struggling to what's next. it's essentially become a do-it-yourself process for so many people who are trying to get to this aspiration which is not only going to benefit them but i think has great potential payoff for the nation. i think it's a as a society we need to come together and develop better pathways to help people navigate their way into this stage of life. i think one place to start is with what we do fo
joins steve israel to introduce a new house democrat, new house democrats who were elected this month. these members will take office in january, and c-span is scheduled to cover this briefing live at 2 eastern right after the house gavels out. >> c-span invites middle and high school students to send a message to the president through a short video. let president obama know what's the most important issue he should consider in 2013 for a chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. c-span's student cam video competition is open to students grades 6-12, and the deadline is january 18, 2013. go online to studentcam.org. >> what i like about c pan's coverage is -- c-span's coverage is it's in depth. often times you'll cover an event from start to finish, and i can get the information that i need. i like to watch "the communicators," i like to watch congressional hearings. the events that you do at the national press club where there are policy leaders speaking, i find those useful. >> howard woolley watches c-span on verizon. c-span, created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought to
not be jeopardized for our one true ally in the middle east, the state of israel. this included showing some support for what is become widely dome of the iron rocket defense system. but our focus in the middle east has certainly not stopped there. we've gone to great lengths in this congress to zero in on what i believe is the greatest threat we have to our own national security, and that is a nuclear armed iran. i've been pleased to team with representative ted deutch and senator kirk on a number of bills to stem this -- and confront this threat. our actions have ranged from strengthening sanctions on iran's energy sector to promoting human rights and democracy inside iran and much more. in fact, one of our most important accomplishments in this congress will have been a strong sanctions package which passed both houses this summer and which included these provisions that we authored. finally, i'd like to highlight the ongoing work to pass a bipartisan budget agreement. this is an initiative that i have been proud to advance, starting with the bipartisan letter urging the supercommittee to go big,
that immediately border syria and have an impact, and, obviously, israel, which is having already raised concerns as we do about, for example, movement of chemical weapons that might occur in such a chaotic atmosphere. and i could have an impact not just within syria, but on the region as a whole. i'm encouraged to see that the syrian opposition created an umbrella group that may have more cohesion than they've had in the past. we are going to be talking to them. my envoys are going to be traveling to various meetings that are going to be taking place with the international community and the opposition. we consider them a legitimate representative of the aspirations of the syrian people. we are not yet prepared to recognize them as some sort of government in exile, but we do think that it is a broad-based representative group. one of the questions that we're going to continue to press is to make sure that that opposition is committed to a democratic syria, an inclusive syria, a moderate syria. we have seen extremist elements put themselves into the opposition. and one of the things that we have t
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